Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Research | By Francis Brooks

Google's building its own smartphone-free Daydream VR headsets

With Daydream now six months old, Google is announcing new devices at I/O that will support the VR platform and existing apps.

With Google's new standalone headset, the computing, the power, the display, and the lenses are all Incorporated directly into the headset.

Google's Daydream platform offers reasonably sophisticated VR experiences with gyroscopic orientation tracking and a three-axis motion controller, but Daydream View doesn't offer a spatial tracking or spacial awareness system of any kind.

Previously, headsets that used the company's Daydream platform required that a smartphone be inserted into the device. Google said it's working with Qualcomm on this technology and noted that WorldSense allows positional tracking without the need to install any external sensors.

Google's Daydream View VR headset.

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Variety first broke the news of Google unveiling its standalone virtual reality headset at Google I/O earlier this week. Designed for low-powered phones, this streamlined version of Android will have a the Google Play Store that will feature optimized apps for these devices.

Neither headset has been shown, although HTC has released a tease of its model, pictured above.

Speaking of, what can we say about standalone Google-powered VR headsets other than "finally"?

Google Daydream has many phones that are now compatible, including the upcoming LG flagship smartphone that will be launched later in the year. By intelligently using the phone's camera to "see" your location, VPS promises to guide you to your destination. As with headsets such as the HTC Vive, being tethered to a desktop computer is inconvenient, but the dedicated hardware of a full-size computer makes higher-end gaming possible in VR.

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